Sunday, February 03, 2008

HMS Illustrious at Barrow-in-Furness, 1939

HMS Illustrious (R87) at Barrow-in-Furness in 1939
[Courtesy of the late Mr Stanley Armstrong]

Information about the wartime HMS Illustrious (R87)

The photograph of the Fleet Aircraft Carrier HMS Illustrious is from the collection of the late Mr Stanley Armstrong of Whitehaven, Cumberland (now Cumbria). It has been copied with the permission of his family. She was built by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire (now part of Cumbria). Work began on 5 July 1937 and launched just before the outbreak of WW2 on 5 April 1939, shortly before this photograph was taken. HMS Illustrious was commissioned on 25 May 1940.

For the first part of WW2, HMS Illustrious was mainly in the Mediterranean theatre, which included taking part in the Malta convoys and the Salerno landings of September 1943. In the latter part of the war, HMS Illustrious was assigned to the Eastern Fleet and Pacific Fleet. It was eventually sold for scrap in November 1956. Aircraft carriers were an important part of the fleet during WW2, providing aircraft that could provide air cover and airborne assaults on specific targets far from its home waters.

For further information about HMS Illustrious, click on the following link:


Blogger Tomcann said...

The Fleet Air Arm Pilots are enshrined in Britah Naval History for the attack on Taranto Harbour with their "stringbags" and severely restraining the Italian Fleet. A magnificient example of heroism.

This attack was also copied by the Japanese and was the template for the attack on Pearl Harbour

Monday, 04 February, 2008  

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